I have been absent from the blog this summer, mostly due to our numerous travels and road trips. Which have been absolutely amazing can't lie. But I am sorry for my post neglect. Now that I am home long enough to get a post together, I'm very excited to share one of my biggest sewing projects! Our church's teen history trip in July spent two days in Colonial Williamsurg, and I spent a few weeks leading up to the trip sewing a historical gown for the occasion. It was 100 degrees outside those two days, but it was completely worth it. ;)
This is my second attempt at an 18th Century dress, but my first where I looked for historical accuracy. I ordered the fabric in specifically from Williamsburg and set to altering a pattern. There are also several layers under the dress to give it the proper shape of the times: Shift; Stockings; Stays; Pocket; Bum-roll/hip-roll; Petticoat; Neckerchief; Dress. (Perhaps I should do a post on all of the underpinnings later?) The stomacher (front panel) of the dress is removable, and the petticoat ties shut.
Now, I did my research, but there are several nuances that I was not sure of, so I bought myself two books while there to hopefully help in the future. I know there are seamstresses out there who are more well-versed in historical sewing than I am, so if you have any tips I would love to hear them! I feel as though I should have another petticoat, and perhaps a lighter neckerchief (although it actually does match in person.) The sleeves are a bit off, but they were so tricky I wasn't going to try and alter the pattern there any more. My stays could have been laced a bit tighter but...it was hot. Also, I believe I should have a hat, or at least some head covering, but I was low on packing space and my hat did not quite work with my dress. All of that aside, I was very excited with the way it turned out. Really, nothing beats going to such a historical place and feeling like you a truly a part of it!